The cliche "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," might be tired, but it's also true. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Teachers' Unions don't appear to have taken it to heart following their humiliating defeat against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who appears to have routed the teachers' unions so completely that they've decided to leave Wisconsin. Woefully enough, they haven't left to ponder their failings, do some soul searching and emerge modernized. Rather, they've decided that rather than shrug their shoulders and say, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," they real message they ought to take away is, "If you can't beat 'em, bully someone weaker."
Thus, today, a story comes from the Arizona Daily Independent indicating that Wisconsin's teachers union leadership has decided to pack up their highlighters, chalk and apples, and begin picketing schools in Tucson, Arizona. Why? Because of the local school board's controversial decision to ban schools from offering Mexican-American studies courses that are overly political and aim to radicalize students on the basis of race. At the practical level, this apparently meant banning Mexican-American studies courses altogether (what that means about Mexican-American studies, we don't like to think), which is where Wisconsin's teachers' unions decided to plant their flag:
A Wisconsin teacher advised her “brothers and sisters” and the TUSD Governing Board members that this is “a revolution” and called for “solidarity” at last night’s Governing Board meeting.
Professor Anita Fernandez advised the Board that that they are in town with a “full commitment to bring back Mexican American Studies here and elsewhere across the country.”[...]
The radical group has named their political effort “Freedom Summer” after civil rights effort in the summer of 1964.
The group of about 30 adults and a few students gathered at the Board meeting to begin what they call the “storm.” Isabel Garcia and Roberto “Dr. Cintli” Rodriguez addressed the Board as they almost always do, to spew invective and false claims about the Mexican American Studies classes.
The adults once again trotted out Nico, a young man who has become the poster boy for their cause. He approached the speaker’s podium, said he didn’t know why he was there. He then told the Board that all he had to say was “hell,” which was greeted by warm and adoring laughter from his adult “mentors.
One adult who identified herself as a “teacher” told the Board that “the world is watching you, and we are enraged and we will do whatever we have to do to carry on Freedom Summer.”
We have to note the irony involved in this - apparently the Wisconsin Teachers' Unions' idea of protesting the argument that Mexican-American studies courses promote radicalization and politicized behavior...is to radicalize and politicize the discussion about Mexican-American studies courses. Proving the arguments of your opponents with your actions is not typically a wise strategy.
Nevertheless, the school district has every reason to worry. Bloodied Wisconsin Teachers' Union members are still Wisconsin Teachers' Union members, and with school closings on the horizon, their presence could change from that of a hysterical nuisance to a genuine thorn in the local Board's side. We hope the "Freedom Summer" reaches its fall soon.